For a semester in Barcelona your housing will be one of the following options: International Student Residence, Self-Catered Apartments, or a Homestay. Each housing option has distinct benefits, as outlined below. Please be sure to review the general housing for Spain

International Student Residence

The International Student Residence is a fantastic option for students who are looking to have a more integrated, communal living experience in Barcelona. Local Spanish and other European students make up the majority of residents making it an ideal choice for students interested in connecting with peers.

  • Students will be housed in single rooms, with shared common areas (kitchen facilities, lounge space) and private bathrooms. There are approximately 40 students in the residence in a given term.
  • You will be provided a pillow, sheets, duvet and towels, as well as kitchen cook wear. You will need to buy your own kitchen utensils (cutlery, plate, cup)
  • Wifi is available for use, though connection methods and speeds may vary.
  • The nature of this residence encourages integration with the other students. Take advantage of meal times and the communal space to practice your Spanish.
  • A 10-15 minute walk from the Arcadia Center.
  • Spaces in this residence are limited, and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Self-Catered Apartments

  • Barcelona is renowned for being a great university town, drawing an international, diverse and educated group of students each year. So in a self-catered apartment, you may share with international students, other Americans or Spanish students.
  • Approximately 3-8 students will share each apartment and its common areas (bathrooms, kitchen facilities, terraces when available). Most apartments are mixed-gender given that students only share common areas, though housing staff will only assign two students of the same gender to each bedroom.
  • Generally, we will not assign students from the same home university to live in the same apartment.
  • The apartments belong to private landlords, not Arcadia, so there is a great variety among them. They will have common areas such as kitchens (with cooking equipment and utensils), and shared bathrooms. Please check out the Estimate of Additional Expenses for more ideas on food costs in Spain.
  • Internet access is available in all apartments, though connection speeds will vary. Computers and wireless internet access are available at the Arcadia Barcelona Center, as well as UPF’s campus.
  • Each apartment will also have a washing machine so that students are able to do their laundry.
  • You can easily purchase pre-paid cell phones once in Barcelona as landline phones are not available for student use.
  • A pillow, blanket and sheets are provided to all students. We recommend that students purchase towels once in Barcelona.
  • Apartments and roommate situations vary significantly; international roommates often come for short periods of time. You may have several international roommates throughout the term, as they will be working with the slightly different calendar that Spanish universities follow.
  • Student apartments are located throughout Barcelona’s central neighborhoods, so it is important to prepare for commute times that may combine walking, metro and bus rides between your location and the Arcadia Center or UPF campus - anywhere between 15 - 40 minutes.


Homestay is a wonderful way to immerse yourself in local daily life by living in the home of a local family, but it does carry a supplemental fee. We will place one student per homestay and do everything we can to see that the home meets your personal preferences, needs and expectations as outlined by you in the housing and Personal Health forms you complete on Passport. Please include any special dietary requirements so we can try to address them. You will receive all the details of your specific homestay at Orientation. Please also check out general housing for Spain.

  • Homestay families are all experienced in hosting American and international university students in Barcelona. Like most Spaniards, these families are dedicated, generous and passionate about sharing their home and culture with our students.
  • Homestay families provide you with two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) seven days a week.
  • While we cannot guarantee every family on a homestay will have internet availability, computers and internet access (including wireless) are available at the Arcadia Barcelona Center.
  • Pillows, blankets, sheets and towels are provided by homestay families.
  • We encourage you to participate in homestay activities and to engage in meal time discussions to improve your Spanish language skills and increase your knowledge of Spanish culture.
  • Average commute times in busy Barcelona from homestays to the Arcadia Center or UPF can range anywhere from 15-35 minutes.